PHOTO: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Fodor's Expert Review Fairmont Royal Pavilion

Hwy. 1, Porters, St. James BB24051, Barbados See on Map Fodor's Choice

Jane Zarem

Every unit in this luxurious, adults-oriented, plantation-pink resort has immediate access to 11 acres of tropical gardens and an uninterrupted sea view from a broad balcony or patio. From ground-floor patios, in fact, you can step directly onto the sand. And service here is top-notch—everyone remembers your name.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Closed Oct.–mid-Nov. No children mid-January–mid-March.

Photo: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts


A major renovation to the hotel’s guest rooms, completed in November 2017, created a cool, contemporary look and feel for the resort within the traditional colonial-style architecture. The new décor includes beige and taupe drapes, bed linens, and upholstery fabrics that reflect the beach. Outdoor decks are furnished with day beds, where guests can relax during the day or even at night. Interconnecting rooms are available for families with young children. For large families or friends traveling together (or for celebrations), there’s a separate three-bedroom villa.

Beachfront junior suites have patios with direct access to the beach—and include the services of a personal butler.

Photo: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts


Bathrooms are fairly small, because the hotel buildings have been around for a while and recent refurbishments had to work within the available space. But they have been modernized, with deep soaking tubs, separate showers, and granite-top vanities. Some have windows and dressing areas. Robes and luxury toiletries are provided.


A columned esplanade surrounds the lobby courtyard, which has a koi pond in the center. A few shops sell fashions, jewelry, and sundries—and there’s a beauty salon. Once in the main lobby—a two-story space with pink walls, marble floors, massive arched windows, impressive chandeliers, tropical plants, comfortable seating, and a grand piano—guests check in, have a seat, and enjoy a welcome drink. Meanwhile, luggage is whisked away and delivered to the room.


The swimming pool is surrounded by cushioned lounge chairs shaded by umbrellas; an adjacent heated Jacuzzi seats 8 people.


In-room spa services are available to guests: various kinds of massage, aromatherapy, hot stone therapy, skin care, facials, scrubs, wraps, reflexology, Reiki, and chakra balancing with crystals.


In the fitness room, given the beautiful views of gardens and ocean (or the mounted TV monitors), it may be hard to stay focused on working out. The machines, cycles, treadmills, and other equipment are state-of-the-art, and the gym is open 24 hours a day (in case you can’t sleep).

A pair of tennis courts is available to guests, along with the complimentary use of racquets and balls.


All-day dining, beginning with breakfast, is available at Taboras, a casual poolside restaurant that overlooks the beach; dine inside or on the deck. The Beach Club, directly on the beach, serves lunch, drinks, and snacks. Afternoon tea, served on the Taboras Terrace, is complimentary. Dinner is served (seasonally) in the exquisite Palm Terrace Restaurant, where a row of arched doorways open to the evening air.

Children 5 and under eat free off the children’s menu; kids 6-12 eat for half price off the regular menu. That said, dining here (and everything else, too) is very expensive.


The Beach Club serves refreshing drinks—soft, light, or hard—all day from 11 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.


More than a half-mile of beach extends the length of the property. The white sand is lined with sun loungers and umbrellas, the sea is calm for swimming, and sunsets are magnificent. Beach butlers cater to your every seaside whim.

Non-motorized water sports are complimentary (kayaks, snorkeling gear, paddle boats, floats, windsurfers, standup paddleboards, and Hobie Wave sailboats), along with the opportunity to swim with the turtles.


Getting Around

It’s a good hike—but a short drive—to Holetown and Limegrove Plaza, an upscale shopping mall with high-end boutiques and inviting cafés. A rental car is advised if you want to explore the island on your own or try different restaurants during your stay; the hotel concierge can arrange the rental. Taxis are always on call.


You might want to stop by Coral Reef Club, a resort just south of the Fairmont, where The Reef Restaurant (3-minute drive) has delicious food and a sophisticated vibe. Just south of Holetown, The Tides (5-minute drive) has long been considered one of the island’s best restaurants. The cuisine is as dazzling as the atmosphere. Lunch or dinner at Daphne's (10-minute drive), the beachfront restaurant of The House, is always a treat. The chef and his brigade whip up first-class “modern Italian” cuisine. A little farther south, The Cliff (15-minute drive) offers one of the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean—at a price. Be sure to reserve well ahead, especially if you want a waterfront table. Next door at The Cliff Beach Club, the seaside view is the same as its big sister; but the “club” atmosphere is casual, a table is easier to come by, and the menu is more affordable.


Enjoy a sophisticated evening at Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge (10-minute drive), just south of Holetown; get there at sunset for a stunning view, too.


Sophisticated and elegant, this is a good place for a romantic splurge—or a personal treat.


Romantic, Service, Views
72 rooms
Breakfast yes
Lunch yes
Dinner yes
Bar yes
Cafe yes
Room Service yes
Gym, Pool
Free Parking


Phones: 246-422–5555; 866-540–4485 in U.S.

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